Swordfish

Pixxispad

Xiphias gladius

Avoid

Caught:

Swordfish are caught by longline, harpoon, drift gill net, and other fishing gear in commercial fisheries. In the Mediterranean it is commonly caught by surface long lines.

Availability:

The peak season for swordfish is usually July through to September.

Facts:

Swordfish are apex predators making them important in marine ecosystems. They can swim up to speeds of 80 km per hour and use their pointed bill to stun prey such as fish (mackerel, herring) crustaceans and squid. 

The ‘sword’ is actually their long, flat, upper jaw. It enables them to swim at high speeds as it helps break through the water.

Our suggestion:

In the Mediterranean, this species is currently overfished. It is being caught over its maximum sustainable yield and many juvenile swordfish are caught making this an unsustainable practice. The Mediterranean-wide ban of driftnets and reduced catch of this species has demonstrated a small positive change but this stock requires better management. Longlines can also lead to bycatch of seabirds or turtles, although some fishers take measures to try to reduce unintentional bycatch from occurring. fish4tomorrow suggests you avoid this fish.